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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blood of Dracula



This weekend I came a few thousand words closer to completing a rough draft of Alex Van Helsing #1, so after a decent writing session I kicked back and watched the glorious 1957 "Girls Gone Vampiric" movie Blood of Dracula AKA Blood of the Demon AKA Blood is My Heritage.

Mind you, this is not a Dracula movie and it probably would have done better had it gone out under a name similar to the earlier works of the same crew, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein and I Was a Teenage Werewolf. But who cares? Halfway through this movie, when a Fabian-like "bad" boy interrupts a girls'-school pajama party to croon a mildly rock & roll number ("Puppy Love," but not the one you know) I turned to my wife and said, "this is officially the best 1950s girls' school vampire movie ever."

The plot? Teen Nancy is a girl with some behavioral issues and a nasty dislike for her new step-mom, so in true 1950s movie fashion, Nancy's Dad ships her off to the Sherwood School for girls, led by the well-meaning and long-suffering Mrs. Thorndyke.

No sooner does Nancy arrive at Sherwood but she is harassed and then recruited by the girl gang called "The Birds of Paradise," who are monstrous, monstrous girls engaged in such well-known gang activities as flirting, having sleepovers and going on scavenger hunts. Also, the gang leadership demands they clean up after themselves and is a respected teacher's assistant. Somewhere these rebels have missed the concept, but luckily Nancy is a genuine rebel with genuinely anti-social tendencies, so naturally Nancy is soon under the close study of Mrs. Branding, a psychiatrist who has some kind of theory about unleashing our inner demons, or something. Did I mention that Nancy becomes a vampire?

This movie is fantastic. Yes, it's full of leaden performances, a plot that makes no sense, and stupendously stupid dialogue. But I couldn't take my eyes off of it-- it's easy to make fun of movies like this, but it's impossible to make them boring.

(Note-- the images in this entry are all from that amazing source for teenage horror movie information, the American International Pictures TEENAGE HORROR FACTORY. DO check it out.)






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